Editorial comment – Cleaning the trash in the harbour

Captain Jonathan Smith. Picture: SUPPLIED

PROFFESIONAL diver and operations manager of Dive Centre Fiji (PTE) Ltd Captain Johnathan Smith knows what he’s talking about when it comes to pollution in the Suva Harbour.

He spends days diving into the harbour.

It’s become second nature for this man of the sea.

So when he made some shocking revelations about the state of the Suva Harbour seabed this week, we have to take note.

He says the seabed has a thick layer of discarded plastic, at least 5 metres thick and this was accumulated over the years since the harbour began operations.

It’s a shocking revelation of the state of our harbour and will definitely take a major swipe at how much we value our environment.

Capt Smith said much of the waste that ended up in the ocean originated from land as rubbish.

“All the rubbish that comes from the harbour does not come from ships, all that rubbish comes when there is heavy rain on land and everything goes to the drains which end up in the sea,” he said.

Now if that wasn’t enough, then consider the complaint he made recently about sewage being pumped into the harbour.

Captain Smith said quite a few times he had complained about sewage being pumped into the Suva Harbour where he usually worked.

“Sometimes I can’t even dive because of the smell of the sewage and I cannot even work and that’s how thick sewage is in the harbour,” Capt Smith said.

“Sometimes we have to just go down to work because we got no choice.”

Now that we are aware of the state of our harbour, we should look to the powers that be to put in place measures that will address this shocking state of affairs urgently.

This should also raise the issue of our other ports around the country and whether enough is being done to address such woes.

In saying that though, the onus is really on us as citizens to place some value on the protection of our environment.

We talk about negative environmental issues, damage to our ecosystem and marine life.

Yet there are many among us who will ignore good sense and dump their rubbish indiscriminately into our waterways, and this would, most times, inadvertently end up in the sea.

The pollution bit is an issue we can address together.

In fact it must prick nerves, and common sense, and hopefully raise some sense of responsibility and appreciation of the beauty that must be protected around us.

Let’s do the right thing together.

We live in a beautiful country, with wonderful beach-fronts, and waterways around us.

We have a duty to protect these for our future generations.

This should be for us, and our nation.

By the way, the positive roll-on effects are many. But first things first, let’s address the concerns raised by the good captain.

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